"General yearly healthcheck"

About: NHS Medway CCG

(as the patient),

This happened about a year to 18 months ago. I was getting near to being 49 and as I had heard of an annual health check at the GP's on TV, I thought I'd pop into my surgery and book one. The receptionist told me I had to be 50 and so I went away and thought I was obviously going to have to wait a while. A couple of months later I had to visit the GP with my son. On the wall in the waiting room was a poster offering health checks to people over 46 or 47 (can't remember exactly, but I definitely fell into the category for it by a couple of years). So I booked one via the phone a couple of weeks later asking for an annual health check.

When I had the appointment the nurse asked me about my blood pressure and what tablets I was taking for it. It transpired the receptionist had booked me in for a heart check not a health check which obviously takes longer. I was quite miffed about being put off at the initial enquiry and then being booked in for the wrong check.

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Responses

Response from John Nurden, Comms and Engagement, NHS Medway CCG

We were sorry to hear of your experience at your GP’s surgery. It looks like there may have been some confusion over what type of health check you were expecting. You don’t say who your GP is but we think the posters may have been promoting the NHS Health Check which is by invitation only to patients 40-74 years. The check is not annual but takes place once every five years.

The NHS Health Check programme is designed to prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and chronic kidney disease. The programme is in its third year in Medway. Only individuals who have not already been diagnosed with these diseases are invited once every five years and offered an assessment of their risk of developing these diseases. Those found to be at high risk are offered clinical management. Individuals with symptoms of disease identified through their general practice disease registers will not be offered screening as it is assumed they are already being managed appropriately.

There may have been some confusion between the NHS Health Check and an annual health check by a GP. It is possible you may already be receiving treatment for blood pressure so you will not have been eligible for an NHS Health Check. All general practices in Medway have received training about the NHS Health Checks programme. It would be useful to know which surgery you are registered with so we can remind the receptionists about this programme.

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